After a dramatic 2-2 deadlock after extra time, Argentina defeated the Netherlands 4-3 on penalties to go to the World Cup semifinals against Croatia.
After Argentina blew a two-goal lead that Lionel Messi helped create in the waning minutes of regulation, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez emerged as the winner for the South Americans in the penalty shootout.
As the Netherlands rallied with seven minutes left in regulation time to force overtime, substitute Wout Weghorst of the Netherlands scored two late goals, the second coming from an innovative free-kick in stoppage time.
After Messi produced a wonderful assist for Nahuel Molina and a precise goal from the penalty spot, Argentina appeared to be headed for the round of four.
Messi said, “It’s a lot of joy and a lot of relaxation.”We didn’t want penalties or overtime. The way everything turned out caused us too much suffering, but it is still the World Cup quarterfinals. When it was our turn, we understood how to endure pain, but we made it to the semifinals.
He said, “It’s lovely, something amazing.”
Since 1992, the Dutch have now lost six of their previous eight shootouts in major championships, which was a very disappointing finale to their campaign for them.